Friendly: Super Falcons beaten by Canada in Vancouver

By Uwem Uko
Nigeria’s senior women’s team suffered a 2-0 defeat to Olympic champions Canada in the first leg of a two-legged friendly on Saturday at BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, on Friday.
The loss was the Super Falcons’ first of the year and second against the north Americans, having been beaten 2-1 in a friendly in Spain in April 2019.
Newly-appointed captain, Onome Ebi led the Randy Waldrum-tutored side, but could only see an hour of action, as she was stretchered off the field with an injury and was replaced by Amanda Uju.
Waldrum’s team started in a 5 – 3 – 2 formation, with Ifeoma Onumonu and Uchenna Kanu leading the attack.
Canada controlled the majority of the action across the first half and had a great chance to go ahead in the 19th minute through Christine Sinclair — who rose to connect with Janine Beckie’s fine cross at the far post. Paris FC goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie did well to parry the captain’s header before it was cleared.
In the 28th minute, Atletico Madrid forward Rasheedat Ajibade went close to pulling Nigeria level when she fired a shot from 25m towards the bottom corner. The ball looked destined for the back of the net, but former Washington Spirits goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe managed to push the ball around the post.

After playing out a stalemate in the first period, Canada — ranked sixth in the world — exerted their superiority in the second period, netting twice through Jessie Flemming and Vanessa Gilles.
Deanne Rose set up the first goal of the game. The Reading forward latched on to a through pass before cutting the ball back to Jessie Flemming and the Chelsea forward beat Nnadozie with a powerful shot.
Canada almost went 2-0 up ten minutes later after Chiamaka Nnadozie parried away an initial effort leading to a goal-mouth scramble with defenders Payne Nicole and Glory Ogbonna managing to keep the ball from rolling over the line..
Eight minutes after the hour mark, Toni Payne, forced a brilliant save from Kailen Sheridan, who dived to parry wide a curling effort from the Sevilla forward.
In the 70th minute, Waldrum pulled Chiamaka Nnadozie off for Tochukwu Oluehi, after the Paris FC netminder appeared to have suffered an injury.
Canada sealed the win two minutes later, as Jordyn Huitema directed Janine Beckie’s corner to Vanessa Gilles, who jumped highest to head it past Tochukwu Oluehi and into the back of the net.
The Super Falcons will face Canada in the second game at Starlight Stadium, Langford, British Columbia, on Tuesday by 3:30am (Nigerian time), as they conclude their North America preparatory tour ahead of the Morocco 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations scheduled to hold from July 3 to 23.
Nigeria XI/Substitutes: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Tochukwu Oluehi 70′) – Toni Payne, Ashley Plumptre, Onome Ebi (Amanda Mbadi 60′), Glory Ogbonna (Peace Efih 83′), Nicole Payne – Christy Ucheibe, Rita Chikwelu (Michelle Alozie 46′), Rasheedat Ajibade – Ifeoma Onumonu, Uchenna Kanu (Onyi Echegini 80′)
Unused Substitutes : Yewande Balogun GK, Okoronkwo, Nkozi Okobi-Okeoghene, Esther Ogbonna, Francisca Ordega
Unused Substitutes : Yewande Balogun GK, Okoronkwo, Nkozi Okobi-Okeoghene, Esther Ogbonna, Francisca Ordega

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